When parties are considering filing for divorce, sometimes they worry about what will happen to them after the case begins. What if the other spouse moves out and refuses to contribute to the rent, mortgage, and other household expenses? What if the spouse refuses to help pay for the children’s costs? What if the spouse begins taking money out of joint accounts to “prepare” for divorce? Illinois courts have procedures in place that may help alleviate these concerns.
First, the divorce case must be filed with the court. After a divorce is filed, a party may ask the court for a temporary order to address any problems that have arisen. The court may order a party to continue paying for a portion of household expenses. The court typically orders a parent who does not have primary possession of the children to pay temporary child support. A spouse can also seek an order of temporary maintenance, formerly known as alimony. The court can also “freeze” bank accounts to prevent parties from withdrawing money. The court is granted liberal powers to enter temporary orders.
It is important to note that these orders are temporary, meaning that they are effective during the case. If a party wants the relief in the temporary order to continue after the divorce, then that party needs to make sure that the final order, often known as the Judgment for Dissolution of Marriage, addresses the issues in the temporary order.
Illinois courts can also enter temporary orders regarding children and child custody. The court can enter temporary child custody orders granting legal decision-making power and/or possession to one or both of the parents. The court may also enter a temporary visitation order. If one parent is saying derogatory things to a child about the other parent, the court can issue an order barring that kind of behavior.
The timing in obtaining a temporary order can be important.